Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 30th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Consider the Unique Circumstances of Female Participants
Women in the workplace face special challenges. Over a lifetime’s career, they make less because of lower wages and sometimes stepping out of the workforce to care for children or parents. They lack confidence, but they are interested in saving and learning to invest for their futures. Women could use a nudge to complete certain retirement planning activities.Read more >
More Plan Sponsors Focusing on Financial Wellness
Financial literacy and wellness are closely related, and both can affect how a retirement plan participant manages personal finances—and how finances are managed has a direct impact on preparing for retirement.Read more >
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Pension Risk Transfer Activity Still a Moving Train
Although in 2015 we didn’t see the same number of large companies offering lump-sum windows or transferring some pension liabilities to insurers as we saw in previous years, there is still a steady movement of pension risk transfer activity in the defined benefit (DB) plan space, despite concerns voiced by participants, lawmakers and regulators.Read more >
Employees Need Help Focusing on Finances in 2016
A New Year’s resolution survey finds employees are placing physical health above financial health, but plan sponsors and advisers can take action to give financial issues equal footing.Read more >
Sponsored message from MetLife
Looking for alternatives for your defined contribution retirement plan?
Visit the Stable Value Educational Hub.Read more >
Economic Events
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased moderately in November, improved in December. The Index now stands at 96.5 (1985=100), up from 92.6 in November. The Present Situation Index increased from 110.9 last month to 115.3 in December, while the Expectations Index improved to 83.9 from 80.4 in November.
Market Mirror

U.S. stocks are closing broadly higher as traders were encouraged by a pickup in consumer confidence and rising prices for energy, according to the Associated Press. The Dow climbed 192.71 points (1.10%) to 17,720.98, the NASDAQ gained 66.95 points (1.33%) to finish at 5,107.94, and the S&P 500 increased 21.86 points (1.06%) to 2,078.36. The Russell 2000 was up 12.31 points (1.07%) at 1,160.52, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 217.25 points (1.03%) higher at 21,333.14.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with advancing issues outnumbering declining issues nearly 3 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with a more than 2 to 1 lead for advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 21/32, bringing its yield up to 2.312%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 30/32, increasing its yield to 3.044%.
Investing
The Year in Retirement Investing Trends
From a fundamental rethinking of the role of ESG investing to ongoing money market fund reform, there was no shortage of major shifts for defined contribution plan investment menus in 2015. At a high level, industry thinking about the retirement plan investment menu has seemingly converged around the “KISS” principle. KISS, of course, is short for “Keep it simple, stupid.” According to a variety of business leaders and regulatory experts, expansive and complicated defined contribution (DC) plan investment menus are falling out of favor about as fast as any other practice in the industry.Read more >
Small Talk
More than one in five employees (21%) is pledging to leave their current employers in 2016, a 5% increase since last year (16%), according to a CareerBuilder survey. The survey asked what factors are important in considering a new position and reveals other employee resolutions.Read more >

ON THIS DATE: In 1853, the United States bought about 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase. In 1903, about 600 people died when fire broke out at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago. In 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was formed. In 1924, Edwin Hubble announced the existence of other galactic systems. In 1953, the first color TV sets went on sale for about $1,175. In 1972, the United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam. In 1976, the Smothers Brothers, Tom and Dick, played their last show at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas and retired as a team from show business. In 1980, “The Wonderful World of Disney” was cancelled by NBC after more than 25 years on TV. In 1993, Israel and the Vatican established diplomatic relations.

 

WEDNESDAY WISDOM: “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.”—George Burns, actor and comedian
Share the good news with a friend! Pass the Dash along – and tell your friends/associates they can sign up for their own copy.Read more >

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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